I love to read your stories. It’s so interesting and beautiful to see how two people meet and find together. Thank you so much for sharing this story with me, Ericka from AUTHENTICITEE
I wish I could find that list.
The list I made when I was younger that detailed what I wanted my husband to be like.
I can recall a few non-negotiables, aesthetic requirements and vocational preferences being on there but everything else is a blur.
I can assure you it contained more of what I wanted than what I needed in a husband.
A mutual friend introduced us in the back of the church that night. Wanting us to collaborate musically they insisted that we meet and so the brief exchange was strictly business. “This is the guy I was telling you about. He’s the bass player here. Oh and he’s a producer and the Worship Pastor’s youngest son!” Though I had never dated anyone in any of those categories before it didn’t matter. I felt nothing out of the ordinary so my heart and mind registered our meeting as just that…strictly business. There were no fireworks and I hadn’t heard bells of any kind; wedding or warning and so the introductions carried on. “…and this is Ericka. The singer from Brooklyn I told you about.” The look in his eyes, though kind and engaging, confirmed it wasn’t love at first sight for him either. He smiled and extended his hand, “It’s nice to meet you, I’ve heard so much about you…all good”. We talked for only a minute or two but then he did something no man had ever done to me before. He asked for permission to call me. In the midst of recovering from shock, I heard him forewarn that it would be late because he’d be calling after he got home from his gig.
Oh…ok. Why would I object to that?
I knew nothing of this “gig” life that he spoke of nor realized how our definitions of “late” sharply differed. That was of course until my phone rang round bout midnight and I gave him a piece of my NY state of mind!
He gingerly reminded me that I had given verbal consent as he apologized profusely, ” I am so sorry but I told you I was a musician and it would be late…” Needless to say his spiel was disarming enough for me to agree to talk to him during normal business hours the following day.
So we did and I found his finely tuned speech fascinating enough to consider working with him. Though we both had an insatiable love for music and God, he managed to shock me again when he asked if he could pray before we hung up. Hmmm…can’t say I had experienced that before either. Still no fireworks or irregular heartbeats…though he did earn a journal entry that night.
The following month, I was the guest soloist for a Singles Ministry event at our church and I needed help with the music. I was drawing a blank on who else I could call and then I remembered him. He got back to me and we agreed to rehearse right before the concert. I was very late to the rehearsal and the look on his face was not nearly as warm and fuzzy as the first time we met! We got through the rehearsal and I went to get dressed for the evening. Right before we went out to minister in song, we faced each other and held hands and prayed. We both felt what can only be described as a slight surge of electricity going through our arms and hands that startled us both.
Much better than fireworks I’d say.
The event was a success! Our spiritual and musical chemistry was fun, powerful, noticeable and undeniable. We were relieved that everything had gone well after having only one rehearsal! When he called me later that night, things were different. It didn’t matter what time the phone rang and when we hung up some 6 1/2 hours later, I don’t remember it ending in prayer…
As I pen this today, 21 years of courting and almost 17 years of marriage have gone by. Though we eventually collaborated on a few music projects, we agree the most profound addition to our catalog are our two miracles ages 13 and 11.
That introduction changed my life forever. Having the foundation of faith and friendship has helped us endure every unexpected and self inflicted storm since that night. Enter and re-enter LOVE time and time again. Each time it appeared and reappeared it looked different. It’s since matured and at times doesn’t seem to fit in the traditional categories of Eros, Phileos or Agape but in a category I like to call Informed Decision.
Not quite what I had in mind looking across a crowded sanctuary. It’s probably a good thing…I wasn’t looking at all.
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
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